Fido’s Florida: Destinations Where Dogs Rule
The Sunshine State is rolling over for its four-legged visitors!
Pack the squeaky toys and the sunscreen for a Florida vacation both you and your dog will love! Did you know that Miami has a restaurant that’s exclusively for dogs? That you and your pal can dine alfresco in Palm Beach at a restaurant owned by celebrity chef Daniel Boulud? That Tampa has a world-class art museum that hosts a weekly Yappy Hour? That Orlando hosts a pet festival almost every month of the year? There’s no reason to leave your BFF in a hotel room while you’re out having fun. From Fido-friendly beaches and bark parks to top restaurants, hotels, and local attractions, here are a few five-woof vacation spots:
If You Go:
Orlando Convention & Visitors Bureau visitorlando.com
Note: In Orlando, most hotels have partnered with theme parks on packages, which are a better value than paying by the night. Check the hotel websites for seasonal offers.
- Grand Bohemian Hotel, 325 South Orange Ave. (407) 313-9000; grandbohemianhotel.com). The hotel welcomes small dogs under 25 pounds with a non-refundable deposit of $100.
- Universal Studios Resorts: The pet fee is a modest $25 per stay with no weight limit.
- The Loew’s Hard Rock Hotel, 5800 Universal Blvd. (407) 503-2000; hardrockhotelorlando.com)
- Loew’s Portofino Bay Hotel, 5601 Universal Blvd. (888) 430-4999; loewshotels.com/en/Portofino-Bay-Hotel).
- Loew’s Royal Pacific Resort, 6300 Hollywood Way (888) 430-4999; loewshotels.com/en/Royal-Pacific-Resort).
- Greenside’s Restaurant, 7251 Five Oaks Dr., Harmony (407) 891-2630; harmonygolfpreserve.com).
- Yellow Dog Eats, 1236 Hempel Ave., Gotha (407) 296-0609; yellowdogeats.com).
- Bark Avenue Dog Bakery, 7728 West Sand Lake Rd. (407) 345-9999; barkavenuebakery.com).
Tampa Convention & Visitors Bureau visittampabay.com
- Loews Don Cesar Beach Resort & Spa, 3400 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach (727) 360-1881; doncesar.com); from $219 per night.
- Tradewinds Island Grand, 5500 Gulf Boulevard, St. Pete Beach (727) 360-5551; tradewindsresort.com); from $159 per night.
- Sheraton Riverwalk 200 N. Ashley Drive, Tampa (813) 223-2222; sheraton.com/Tampa); from $135 per night.
- Columbia Café at the Tampa History Center, 801 Old Water Street, Tampa (813) 229-5511; www.columbiarestaurant.com).
- Sono Café, Tampa Museum of Art, 120 W Gasparilla Plaza, Tampa (813) 421-8379; tampamuseum.org/home/sono-café).
- Cassis, 170 Beach Dr. NE, St. Petersburg (727) 827-2927; cassisab.com).
- Ferg’s Sports Bar & Grille, 1320 Central Avenue, St. Petersburg (727) 822-4562; fergssportsbar.com).
Tail Waggin’ Good Times
Sweet Treats and Canine Chic:
- DoggieDoor, 329 Park Avenue North, Winter Park (407) 644-2969; thedoggiedoor.com). Owned by the same folks who run Orlando’s popular lifestyle store, Bullfish (where you’re welcome to shop for cool human stuff with your dog!), The Doggie Door features all things canine.
- Metropolitan Dog Spa, 151 East Washington St., Orlando (407) 333-4766; metropolitandogspa.com). While Fido has a day of beauty, dog owners gather for a quiet cup of tea or to browse the store.
- Pawsitively Posh Pooch, 1425 4th St. North, St. Petersburg (727) 892-9303; pawsitivelyposhpooch.com). Drop by Posh Pooch to browse Chanel’s Closet for designer duds, grab a bon-bon for your buddy from Coco’s Pawrisian Bistro, or give Fido an ooh-la-la spa treatment at the Gucci Poochi Spa.
- Downtown Dog, Hyde Park Village, 1631 W. Snow Circle, Tampa (813) 250-3647; shopdowntowndogs.com). This boutique welcomes canine browsers along with their humans. See the owner’s dogs, Lucky and Valdano, on the website or submit your own pooch photo for the pin-up section.